Friday, January 05, 2007

whither chhatrii

It's cloudy outside and there have been short spells of rain, but, as JR woefully tells me, there's no sign of The Blue Umbrella (contrary to expectations). However, there's a two-part interview with Pankaj Kapur over at Rediff [Part I, Part II ]. My favourite nugget:

You do commercial cinema very rarely. But then after a film like Maqbool you go ahead and do a Dus. Now how does a role like that compare to your repertoire? Or do you merely look at is as a fun assignment?

As far as Dus is concerned, I think it was a fairly etched character. Excepting the end development of the character, about which I had a series of discussions with the director [Anubhav Sinha] about where he is taking the character eventually. At the end of the day, it's the director's call. As an actor I can only suggest, discuss and leave it to him.

To me, whether I am playing a part in commercial cinema or, if you'd like to call it, middle-stream cinema, my attempt is the same. It depends on how the circumstances of the director permit him to understand what one is pointing out to him and incorporate the same into the script or not.

And sometimes even the best efforts of the director and actor may not sketch out the way you would imagine them to be for various constraints, but then you have to live with the kind of world you are in. And you tell yourself, 'Okay, there would be a Maqbool, a Blue Umbrella, but there would be a couple of commercial films as well.' And the idea of doing those films is to reach a certain audience that maybe does not, in the immediacy of time, watch a Blue Umbrella. For them, it is to make them aware that I exist in that cinema as well, so that maybe at some point in life they sit up and say 'oh, the same actor is there in this film, lets go and have a look at it.' So it is to maybe, partially increase the number of people who watch your work in the other kind of cinema.

In rather unrelated news, Sakshi Juneja unveils the first part of a 5-month old interview with Anurag Kashyap, just about a year after a nice interview with Kay Kay Menon. Aside from some more insight into the genesis of Paanch, the chief trivia tidbit would be "I left Mission Kashmir half way because I was not happy with the way things were shaping up..."

addendum: JR's gentle nudge (a comment on Sakshi's page) and an old blog post that leads from Socha Na Tha to Star Bestsellers offer more information about the short film that Kashyap did with Kay Kay. Now if only I can get my hands on the series ...

And here's a much-delayed pointer to a clip from "Four Step Plan," Chaitanya Tamhane's documentary critiquing the plagiarism in Bollywood.

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